I have always, always encouraged him to follow his dreams, to paint, to enjoy life because it’s over too quickly, and I haven’t minded being the chief bread winner since I graduated (I’m a patron of the arts after all!), but I never talk about it like that to others. Friends ask how my husband’s degree is going, and I say great, and they ask what his plans are, and I say he hopes to teach…It’s what they want to hear, but I feel dirty every time, knowing I’m lying. He’s severely dyslexic, how is he going to get an education degree to go with his arts degree? He’s only sold a couple of paintings to acquaintances, so we can’t rely on the art either. I see other people buying houses because they have two incomes, but I can’t. Deep down I’m fine with it. I know if things ever got really tough, my husband would get whatever job he could and work hard to help out. He supported me through ten years of college doing hard labor 12 hours a day, so I know he’s no slacker. But I made a choice to support a dream, whether something comes of it or not, and I’m not about to tell him to give it up so I can have the same luxuries as my colleagues.
Thanks to Julie, I realized I’m letting others make me feel poor when really I am so very very rich:
- I have the best husband in the world, and we’re still madly in love after 21 years
- I’m going to have a baby!
- I have a wonderful brother, several wonderful friends, and two beautiful cats
- I have a great job that allows me to support both me and my husband’s dreams
- I’m healthy, well fed (unlike my childhood), with a spotless house, and I never want anything but chocolates for Christmas because I already have everything I truly need
- I’m a writer! To be published someday (fingers crossed)
- and all those terrible, strange, beautiful experiences of childhood are fodder for the imagination–it’s all good in the end
I’m rich in every way that matters, and from now on I won’t be ashamed to support an artist. More people need to. Most importantly, I’m happy, and it’s not ‘stuff’ that makes me feel that way. How about you? What makes you rich?
Thanks for reading! More posts on books, film, and writing can be found on my website at Lorel Clayton Author.